China’s Chang’e 5 mission: Sampling the lunar surface

The Chang’e 5 lunar mission is the Chinese National Space Administration’s (CNSA) effort to send a robotic spacecraft to the moon to collect samples and return them to Earth for scientific study. It’s China’s first attempt at a sample-return mission, and will be the first probe to bring back material from the moon since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.

Chang’e 5 is part of the CNSA’s Chang’e lunar exploration program. Named for a Chinese goddess of the moon, the series of missions aims to steadily increase their technological capabilities, laying the groundwork for future human landings.

What the Chang’e 5 mission has accomplished so far

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